Multikosmos International 2021

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The World of Beneficial Microorganisms



Using the Multikraft system makes life in the garden a lot easier. With the help of Multikraft‘s soil and plant additives, plants are strengthened in a natural way thanks to Beneficial Microorganisms. Discover tips for self-sufficiency in the smallest of spaces and get helpful basic knowledge to start gardening. Page 4


Near-natural methods are in high demand, while the availability of approved pesticides is on the decline. Frank Korting in Germany has investigated how plant strengthening agents such as Multikraft‘s products get along with the use of beneficial insects. Page 10


In Styria, Markus Lukas runs a poultry fattening farm and regularly uses the supplementary feed FHE (Fermented Herbs Extract) in chicken farming. It contributes significantly to the fact that problems with the pathogen salmonella infantis are no longer an issue. Page 20


Quality is our strength! „Quality is no coincidence, but the result of ongoing efforts to improve it.“ Naturally occurring microorganism strains that comply with Class 1 (food grade) and are 100% GMO-free are the basis of our plant fortifiers, feed additives and probiotic cleaners produced using fermentation processes. Quality control of Multikraft‘s end products is carried out in our own PCR laboratory and by research partners in Austria, Great Britain and Japan. The microorganism cultures and product quality are continuously tested internally and by external parties. Our seven-person Research and Development team is constantly working with universities and practitioners to improve the quality and efficacy of our products and to develop new products. For example, new plant strengthening agents are developed over a period of several years and tested by research institutions both in glasshouse and field studies, and in practice by professional gardeners. Ongoing quality management and consistent production improvement are the basis for maintaining our own high-quality standards now and in the future.


Mag. Robert Rotter Scientific Director

„Quality is not a matter of chance, but the result of ongoing efforts to improve it.“



02__MULTIKRAFT NEWS // Quality is our strength 04__COVERSTORY // Vegetables from your own garden 08__IN CONVERSATION // Blooming opportunities – Klaus Bongartz

10__HORTICULTURE // Powerful combination – Frank Korting 12__HORTICULTURE // Christoph Schoch, Lucerne 14__AGRICULTURE BERRIES // Jürgen Benninghoven 16__AGRICULTURE ARABLE FARMING // Opportunities for

// 14

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Markus Salcher Organic specialities

Markus Lukas Chairman Poultry Austria Cooperative

18__AGRICULTURE VEGETABLES // Organic for Babies – Robert Harmer

20__LIVESTOCK FARMING WITH FHE // On the right track – Markus Lukas

22__ LIVESTOCK FARMING WITH FHE // Organic specialities – Markus Salcher

24__BIOEMSAN // Uplifting benefits – Katharina Krebs 26__MANJU IN ACTION // World of Manju

Photos: Multikraft, Werner Dedl, privat

the future – Markus Kaiser

Legal information

PUBLISHER: Mag. Ulrike Hader, MEDIA OWNER: Multikraft Produktions- und HandelsgmbH, Sulzbach 17, 4632 Pichl/Wels, Austria, Tel. +43 7247 50 250-100,,, CONTACT & CHIEF EDITOR: Christina Kirchberger, BA LAYOUT: Anna Achleitner, AUTHORS OF THIS ISSUE: Mag. Katja Haller TRANSLATION: PUBLISHING HOUSE: gugler print*, PLACE OF PUBLICATION: Melk a. d. Donau

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Vegetables from your own garden Self-sufficiency strengths from the garden Crisp radishes, fresh lettuce, fragrant herbs, and sweet strawberries – freshly grown vegetables taste better than anything else! Healthy food straight from the garden to the plate. Growing you own produce is very enjoyable, it improves your self-sufficiency and is extremely satisfying. Getting started in gardening is easy with some basic knowledge, and with a few helpful tips on using the Multikraft system, it makes your gardening exploits much easier. With the help of Multikraft‘s soil and plant additives, plants are strengthened in a natural way thanks to Beneficial Microorganisms. So, let‘s get started with the small and big joys of gardening in spring!

70% of all life on our planet consists of microorganisms. They are part of humans and animals, the plant world, the soil and water. Beneficial Microorganisms are mixed microbial cultures consisting mainly of lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and photosynthetic bacteria. These microbial cultures are the basis for all Multikraft products, which are produced by fermentation. The main characteristic of Multikraft cultures is to prevent putrefaction and the resulting toxic metabolic end products and to support regenerative (renewable) processes. This results in a wide range of possible applications. A positive microbial environment is the basis of fertile soils. The consistent use of Beneficial Microorganisms promotes humus formation and soil fertility. Multikraft plant aids are used for preventive plant strengthening to avoid pest infestation or fungal diseases in a completely natural way.


If you don‘t have space for your own garden, not a problem! You can still enjoy the pleasure of gardening from a small pot of soil on your windowsill. Many vegetables can easily be grown on your balcony in planting bags, troughs or a small raised bed, and even a flower pot on the windowsill can hold many a beautiful harvest. Herbs or chillies in pots are particularly decorative and very happy in a sunny spot. For beginners and gardening novices, uncomplicated vegetables such as radishes, spinach and chard, carrots and courgettes, as well as pickled lettuces such as rucola, are particularly suitable. Carrots in a pot? Yes, surprisingly, this works very well. Carrots need a tall pot as they are quite undemanding but with regular watering and a sheltered, bright spot they will thrive. Even potatoes can be grown in a 20L pot! Regular watering is very important so the soil does not dry out, however be careful to avoid waterlogging. There are a range of possibilities on how to start your gardening self-sufficiency with a small space in Springtime.

Artwork: Ardea-studio/

Basic knowledge

Self-sufficiency in a small space


Good spacing The anticipation of a large harvest can easily lead to planting your vegetables far too close together. Falling for this trap blocks the plants‘ growth. To ensure that plants have enough light and space during the growing phase, it is important to pay attention to plant spacing from the beginning. If you are new to gardening, it is easier to stick to the planting distances recommended on the seed bags. Self-grown seedlings should also be planted at the distances recommended in the planting plans. It is helpful to keep in mind how big the plant will become when it is ready to harvest. This will help determine the distance they should be planted from one another to develop well.

Regular mulching is beneficial Proper mulching improves soil quality. Covering the soil with natural, easily decomposable organic materials keeps soil and roots moist during prolonged heat, provides food for beneficial soil inhabitants and suppresses weed growth. Tip: 10 ml Multikraft Roots (Alternatively: Mix 20 ml EM Active, 10 ml Terrafert Soil) to 10 L water and spray this spray solution on when mulching. This supports a regenerative, living soil environment. Mulch has different effects depending on the material. Lawn clippings can be used for all plants but should be slightly dried and applied in a thin layer, otherwise there is a risk of rotting. It enriches the soil with nitrogen and potassium. Dried nettles rot quickly and should be mulched more often in quite thick, ten-centimetre-high layers. They enrich the soil with minerals as they decompose and are well suited for cucumbers, tomatoes or beans. Strawberries ripening on straw mulch remain clean and less susceptible to slugs and grey mould.

Mixed variety and companion planting If you want to grow several types of vegetables in your garden or raised bed, you should opt for mixed planting. This is successful even in small areas and with a smart plan you will get an abundant harvest from Spring to Autumn. Over the years it has been proven that with the right companions, mixed vegetable plantings form sensible symbioses. If the mixed vegetable species are grouped strategically, the plants support each other‘s growth and protection against pests. In mixed plantings, unwelcome garden inhabitants have a much harder time spreading, because they have to search for their preferred plants first! With the right companions, plants grow better because they support each other in terms of growth and health rather than competing for nutrients. Herbs in mixed plantings also naturally deter pests. A few examples are; A) With the help of their natural essential oils, sage, rosemary, thyme and mint repel the cabbage white butterfly and B) If chives are planted between strawberries, there is less risk of grey mould attacking the plants. Good soil conditions, sufficient light and correct planting distances ensure healthy, vigorous growth in mixed garden plantings.



Planting plan Which plants should be grown and which plants do you like to eat? Gardening novices are best off starting with uncomplicated and robust plants such as herbs, lettuce, radishes or kohlrabi. By combining compatible vegetables, herbs and flowers in your garden beds, you form ideal plant partnerships. Below is a suggestion for a small area of mixed planting.

Mixed cultivation, crop rotation, pre-, main- and post-cultivation - can be quite overwhelming for novice gardeners, so it’s helpful to have a planting plan. The ideal time to formulate your gardening plan for the coming season, is during Winter when the garden is resting.

Mixed culture in the bed


Planting in May


0,6 m Number of plants

Harvest time

Our herbal tip No-Gos







1m 10

Jun.-Sept. Jul.-Aug.



Cabbage Turnip





2 (~ 3 kg)



2 (~ 15 pieces)








Sage Garlic


ep Step by st plan g in t plan


Draw the layout plan of the garden including the garden beds Make a list of plants Group them according to strong, medium and weak eaters Arrange them according to the mixed planting table

Artwork: Ardea-studio/

Radish Stawberry Onion


Watering the right way It has long been rumoured that a garden‘s life consists mainly of watering. This is not the case. On the contrary, when watering you can save time and water. It is better to water less often but ensuring the soil is thoroughly wet. Morning is the best time to water, while the soil is still cool and the water soaks in well instead of evaporating. When planting young plants, water them thoroughly and keep the soil moist without waterlogging, for the first few days after planting. Once the plants have had their first growth spurt, watering should be less frequent. Organic gardener Andrea Palmiere says, „I don‘t water young plants too much, so that the plants learn to look for water themselves therefore establishing deeper roots. These roots are stronger and more robust.“ Vegetable beds can tolerate less frequent watering, so that the soil retains the water. It is also advisable to apply a layer of mulch to vegetable beds and spray them with EM Active once a week. By doing this, the garden soil is well aerated and protected from drying out. Consequently, it has a greater water storage capacity, leading to less frequent watering.

Watering with the Multikraft System To strengthen the roots and improve soil health, water regularly with 10 ml Multikraft Roots to 10 L water Alternatively: 20 ml EM Active 10 ml Terrafert Soil to 10 L water applied immediately after mixing. Regular application keeps the soil healthy and full of life and strengthens the plants in a completely natural way.

Multikraft Plant Strengthening Regular spraying with 40 ml EM Active 10 ml Terrafert Foliar 10 ml MK 5 to 1 litre of water strengthens the plants‘ defences and prevents pests and fungal diseases, such as downy mildew on courgettes and cucumbers, powdery mildew on cucumbers, blossom end rot on tomatoes and peppers. Naturally strengthened plants are healthier and more resistant.

oots Multikraft R ct start for the perfe

Why do I need less Multikraft Roots than EM Active with Terrafert Soil?

Fotos: Multikraft

Multikraft Roots is a concentrated mixture of several ingredients and has been tested for years in professional horticulture. You can achieve a better result with less quantity!

Airy, lively soil is worth its weight in gold. Multikraft Roots ensures active soil life and healthy plants. The soil additive strengthens the roots and increases resistance to pests and fungal diseases from the beginning. Sprinkle It is very easy: After planting, the plants are watered thoroughly using 10 ml Multikraft Roots per litre of water. Regular watering Water regularly once a week with a mixture of 10 ml Multikraft Roots per 10 litres of water. It is best to always use the diluted solution immediately. Plants regularly supplied with Multikraft Roots develop much stronger roots and thus thrive much more robustly and healthily even as young plants.



Blooming opportunities In conversation with Klaus Bongartz Klaus Bongartz is one of the most recognised perennial gardeners in the Lower Rhine region of Germany with his Bioland Garden Centre. The master gardener, who lives in Nettetal, has built up an extensive range of organically certified ornamental plants and perennials. In 2014 he closed the business and has become a self-employed horticultural consultant for organic production. Using his extensive practical knowledge, he assists farms throughout Europe to convert over to more natural cultivation practices. Mr. Bongartz’s grandfather was a school headmaster who cultivated precious fruit. This hobby turned into a nursery, which his father and aunt took over and has been further developed by Klaus from 1976 onwards. In the 1970s Klaus had started working in a more natural way with cut flowers and explains how this came about. I started by hanging crushed garlic cloves in old stockings on a wire feeding into the irrigation system of the plants. I saw that the plants had fewer pests, so I continued using natural methods step by step. I also use compost, which contains many living microorganisms helping to provide good soil and making my plants healthier. As a result, I did not need to spray any artificial agents making the plants much safer. This has also allowed us to become a Bioland certified farm for the last four years. In 2014 you closed your horticultural business and became an independent consultant. Why did you take this step? It was not an easy decision. I was completely fulfilled with the nursery, could not find a successor, and 2012 & 2013 were catastrophic years for the business with late frosts freezing some of the plants. Today I work as an advisor and have the same passion as I did while running my own business. As a positive thinker, I see failure as a part of life with the chance to learn something from all situations.


You currently consult to farms from the professional horticulture sector on the implementation of more natural production methods. Would you say the overall interest in nature-oriented methods is increasing? The change in thinking is increasing. Before the COVID-19 crisis, I thought this trend was unstoppable. However, over the last few months I’ve talked to a lot of people and the feedback is that after the initial period of shock, sales are once again going very well. I believe that the trend towards regionality, healthy food and natural cultivation will boom even more.


How many horticultural enterprises in Germany and other countries do you consult for? I visit about 100–120 farms per year at different intervals and have already been able to lead some farms through the conversion process of conventional to organic certification. The desire to convert comes from the farms themselves and for various reasons. With more and more chemical agents becoming banned by law, I am frequently asked “how can we keep our crops under control” and “Why don’t we come up with other things?” It’s these types of questions that spark a change in thinking. We must work more with nature again and understand the plants in the truest sense of the word, observe them and see what we can do for them. Using various methods such as compost, tonics and microorganisms, we can create conditions that are close to nature on the production farm. The plant gets what it needs for its growth.

Photo: pivat

What opportunities does the Multikraft system offer for the conversion phase and beyond? In almost all conventional farms we start with BB Soil. We spray the entire glasshouse with 10% BB Soil and immediately achieve a much better environment for the plants. They are more vital, and the longer we keep chemicals out, the better the microbiome works. When consulting, it is important for me to balance the needs of the plants with the costs of the applications, so that we achieve the optimum result for each individual farm. I take a good look at the dosages each farm has particularly good success within their crops, and we build on that. This makes everyone happy.

because there is a problem, or the plant needs it. I can also calm my mind with regular, preventive plant strengthening. Cultivating close to nature has many advantages, e.g. farms no longer come into contact with synthetic chemicals, the environment remains protected and end consumers get uncontaminated plants in their gardens, on their balconies or in their homes. In the future, the younger generation in particular, will define themselves by how they can minimise and offset their carbon footprint. ‘Organic’ is an attitude to life, where one is mindful of resources, plants, animals and people. This attitude is growing within the younger generation where more natural ornamental plants are appreciated more and more. I see a great opportunity for horticulture in this generation. In ten years’, we will probably no longer give much thought to whether we still want to use chemicals. Already today, farms use beneficial organisms and microorganisms as a matter of course. Thirty years ago, that was unthinkable, and I already proved back then that you can produce quality with them. In the 1970s, you yourself changed your farm and the management of your flowers. What experience have you gained and use today? My advice is an overall concept for the respective farms and their crops. It starts with the soil and extends to plant strengthening and fertilisation. Where possible, we use flower strips to create spaces where beneficial insects can multiply and then work on the farm all by themselves. This forward thinking, more natural way of working brings back the passion for farming with the added benefits of relaxation when working with nature.

What opportunities do you see in the future for more natural production in horticulture and especially in ornamental plant cultivation? The demand for local and organic products is great and I believe in the future, working closer to nature will be the only option. Three or four generations ago, organic was conventional because there were no artificial fertilisers and chemical products. In the long term, I see the farms saving 70–80 % of chemicals and only using them sensibly when necessary. Often chemicals are only used to calm one‘s own mind, not 09


Powerful combination How Multikraft products get along with beneficial organisms


The Dienstleistungszentrum Ländlicher Raum offers vocational training, advice and research in viticulture and horticulture. Frank Korting works in the horticulture department and is responsible, among other things, for cultivation advice and trials. Since 2014, he has also repeatedly been involved with Beneficial Microorganisms and conducts studies with Multikraft products for this purpose. This also involves getting to the bottom of the combination of Beneficial organisms with plant strengthening agents from Multikraft.

Test results

Experiments were developed for the individual beneficial insects, and the plants contained in them were sprayed with Multikraft solutions. The variants were created prior in cooperation with Multikraft expert Günther Soukup. BB Foliar, Terrafert Foliar, MK 5, Nettle Extract, Horsetail Extract and whey powder were included in one spray solution.

Photos: privat

Amblyseius cucumeris, Chrysoperla carnea, Encarsia formosa. Behind these sounding names are predatory mites, lacewings and ichneumon wasps. They are all beneficial insects that combat plant pests such as thrips, aphids and whiteflies. They are becoming more and more popular as the use of chemical-synthetic pesticides is being reduced in favour of more natural methods. A steadily increasing number of horticultural businesses are working in a more natural way, whilst also, the availability of approved pesticides is on the decline. Many horticultural businesses and their customers are interested in preventive, plant-strengthening agents, such as the Multikraft products. This raises the question of how products for plant strengthening and the use of beneficial insects are compatible. Frank Korting from the Dienstleistungszentrum Ländlicher Raum Rheinpfalz (Service Centre for Rural Areas Rhine Palatinate) in Germany, has investigated and formed this conclusion: Multikraft products are well tolerated by beneficial insects.


The predatory mites did not mind being sprayed, but directly drinking the spray solution caused them problems. However, the dieback rates were so marginal in percentage terms that this was of no consequence when using beneficial insects. The lacewing larvae were also sprayed directly. „Only Chrysoperla showed a slight sensitivity to the spray solution,” says Frank Korting.

With botrytis, the results are more difficult, as factors such as humidity play a greater role. Overall, the regular Multikraft plant strengthening works very well.“ Frank Korting also confirms the resulting visible vitality of the plants: „Altrough the vitality is not measurable. However, if you touch several hundred plants, as I did during a bonitur, you get this impression.“

“Under the binoculars it appeared as if the animals were stuck together, possibly by the whey powder, however more investigation is needed. What overall conclusion have you drawn from the trials? „The coating applied to the plants by the Multikraft spray solution, has no adverse effects on beneficial animals at all. If the animals are hit directly, the mortality rates are extremely low, so Multikraft components are very compatible with beneficial insects,“ says Frank Korting, who has already tested Multikraft strengtheners in earlier trials of fungal diseases such as mildew and botrytis.

Compact plant growth

Successful against mildew and others

Regularly spraying plants with Multikraft plant strengtheners boosts their natural defence system, makes them more resistant to diseases and pests and makes them more robust overall. „We have found that with regular treatment, powdery mildew is very controllable. BB Foliar and Terrafert Foliar were always included as a base in the spray solutions. The solutions using the additional components Horsetail and Nettle Extract gave the best results.

Violas, known as pansies, are popular in spring with their bright colours, especially when they are grown compactly. Frank Korting conducted a trial with violas and the Multikraft system as an alternative to conventional inhibitors. One group of plants was treated with standard inhibitors, and the other used two silicon products applied with each watering and spraying. As a third variant, one group was treated exclusively with the Multikraft system, a mixture of BB Foliar, Terrafert Foliar and Horsetail Extract was applied regularly. Horsetail Extract contains a large amount of siliceous silica, which is important for strengthening the cells of the leaf surfaces. What is the conclusion of this study? Frank Korting reports, „The silicon variant as an alternative to conventional inhibitors did little good. The Multikraft system has the best results as an alternative. The regular applications kept the height and diameter of the plants lower. The violas treated with the Multikraft products also grew more compactly.



Leading the way Sustainable urban greenery in Lucerne


„It is the wish of the population and politicians that we practice sustainable green management. We take this responsibility very seriously,“ says Christoph. Since 2017, the Lucerne Municipal Horticulture has been cooperating with „Grünstadt Schweiz“, a label for sustainable urban greenery. „Grünstadt Schweiz“ imparts know-how, provides support with the certification process and rewards residences that are concerned about the natural maintenance of green space.

Holistic work

„We take a holistic view of our work implementing all appropriate measures. In doing so, we source local plants, pay attention to short transport routes, our own composting and environmentally friendly ornamental plant production.“ Ongoing training and good relations with our staff are just as important to us as the involvement and input of the urban people. What do we mean by this? For example - When building a new children‘s playground, we make the process participatory. This means we ask for the children‘s input into what they would like. We also design the playgrounds to be more natural, so that children play with the water and soil.

Photos: privat

Christoph Schoch has been working for the Lucerne Municipal Gardening Department for 30 years as the Operations Manager of Central Services. During a time when many countries had to stay at home due to COVID-19, Christoph was able to give us an interview. Now more than ever a simple walk in the park is very good for you. Before this global crisis, some municipalities and cities had already started initiatives for near-natural urban green spaces. The city of Lucerne, on Lake Lucerne, is committed to near-natural recreational spaces within the city with the project „Grünstadt Schweiz“, and is the first certified city in Switzerland.


Strengthening ornamental plants

Composting and substrate

Encouraging success

Total near-natural mix

The Multikraft system has been used regularly for about two years to strengthen ornamental plants for urban parks and flower arrangements, making them more in line with natural flora. „We have a basic formula for leaf strengthening which we consistently apply once a week. Using our experience, we adapt this recipe depending on the season, disease or pest pressure. For example, we spray certain crops twice a week if necessary, or we increase the amount of MK 5 slightly.“ The biological plant aid MK 5 strengthens the leaf surface and is used preventively against pest and fungal infestation.

Photos: Multikraft, privat

„It is important to carry out regular plant strengthening, and we are pleased with the success,“ says Christoph. He has also noticed other changes with consistent application of the Multikraft system. „The roots are amazingly good and healthy, and the plant structure is more compact. We do not use any inhibitors, have been able to greatly reduce the use of fungicides and cut the use of insecticides by over 80%. We rely purely on organic fertilisation and have significantly reduced the use of peat; many crops are peat-free altogether. The Multikraft system is an ideal complement to this.

Christoph Schoch, Operations Manager City Gardening Luzern

Organic fertilisation is carried out with horn shavings, sheep wool pellets, lawn fertiliser and our own compost. Green waste from public parks is also used for composting. The decomposition takes place within four months and the finished compost is used to produce our own substrate. „Per m³ of compost, we add a mixture of 100 litres of water, 100g of EM Ceramic Powder, 1% Terrafert Soil, 1% BB Soil and 0.3% Worm Power. We add our compost to the substrate and have a mix of many components in the soil such as wood and coconut fibres, rice husks and clay mineral.”

With the total mix of nature-oriented measures, around 130,000 ornamental plants thrive in 1,600 m² high glasshouses. These glasshouses are operated with four climate zones, ebb and flow irrigation, double energy screens and woodchip heating. The Multikraft system is now an important part of those measures. „We tried the Multikraft system once and have grown nicely into the applications. Especially when it comes to combating powdery mildew and fungus gnat larvae, we are able to cultivate very successfully thanks to Multikraft“, notes Christoph Schoch with satisfaction.


As a matter of course, so much nature-oriented, environmentally friendly work has already been implemented in Lucerne by the city gardening department. This work is greatly appreciated by the local community. Lucerne was the first city to receive a silver medal, certified by „Grünstadt Schweiz“. A jury evaluates the entire green space of the city and assesses the management of environmentally friendly measures of this space. „We want to renew the certification and are aiming for the gold medal in 2021 by implementing further nature-oriented measures,“ says Christoph. A gold medal for a green city and its nature-oriented recreational areas is particularly valuable during these challenging times and is a confident perspective to have.



Opportunities for the future Conversion to certified organic agriculture After several years of conversion, in 2019, Markus Kaiser, a farmer from Sierndorf in Lower Austria, will harvest his first organically certified crop. The Multikraft system supports organic farming by strengthening soils and plants by perfectly aligning with the quality of his potatoes and onions. Markus Kaiser markets potatoes and onions directly, in peeled form, to catering businesses. He delivers large quantities of them to the kitchens of hotels and restaurants around thirty kilometres away in Vienna: „We have always paid attention to high quality and varietal purity. To market peeled potatoes, you need the right varieties. Our main variety is the firm Campina, which is easy to handle for cooks because it does not discolour after peeling. The Bellmonda variety is mainly for firm cooking and is better suited to organic farming. We are able to satisfy our customers with certified organic products.“


A promising market

Three years ago, Markus Kaiser began the conversion phase towards organic certification. His parents‘ farm is currently half way through the process and will receive certification in 2021. Combined, the Kaiser‘s farms are about 80 hectares and the organic sector brings more opportunities in a growing market. Regional prospects are good and prices for agricultural products are higher. Markus Kaiser reduces possible risks in harvesting, quality and storage from the beginning of planting. To prevent diseases, pests or rot, he relies on the Multikraft system, which he learned from attending a field day at organic farm Harmer KG, in Spillern, Lower Austria.


Humus build-up

Markus Kaiser now uses the Multikraft system regularly when growing potatoes and onions for soil preparation and plant strengthening. BB Soil is used to prepare the fields after cereals have been harvested. „I think it helps a lot if you take a good look at the soil,“ says Markus Kaiser, who trained as a soil practitioner with BioAustria. „Right at the first stubble fall, I apply 30 litres of BB Soil with an application rate of 100 litres of water per hectare. I have a nozzle mounted on the cultivator at the front by the tines so I can spray the Multikraft products directly into the soil.“ This converts the harvest residues into valuable humus more quickly and prevents rot in the soil. Further tillage takes place in autumn, when the green cover is chopped in the field and worked in with the short disc harrow. Spraying the catch crops with BB Soil promotes the conversion of organic substances and prevents rotting processes in the soil.

High-yield harvest

„In terms of quality, the 2019 harvest was very good, we had less waste in the onions (around 10-15%), in comparison to other farmers.“ With organic farming and using the Multikraft system, Markus Kaiser got off to a really good start from the beginning: „I am very happy that we have now taken this step and converted our farm. In the future, many sprays will no longer be permitted so you need to rethink your approach and try new things. In terms of yield, organic farming is just as good as conventional farming,“ Markus Kaiser is convinced. He sees the increasing trend towards organic produce with many of his customers asking for ‘organic’ while also providing good opportunities for the future for his organically certified farm.

Photos: privat

Healthy plants

To strengthen the plants, Markus Kaiser regularly applies a mixture of BB Foliar, Terrafert Foliar, MK 5 and BB Multical to the fields. He sprays the mixture on the young plants and throughout the entire growth phase. This strengthens the plants‘ resistance to diseases and pests, reducing the risk of failures. To treat the onion plants in the field, Markus Kaiser adds Multikraft‘s Horsetail Extract Concentrate to the mixture. The plants develop robust leaves and are less susceptible to fungal diseases. The Multikraft system creates a regenerative environment. All in all, regular and consistent foliar treatment with the Multikraft system increases the plants‘ natural defences. „With organic farming and the use of the Multikraft system, you have to think longer term. Multikraft technology is good for the soils and plants as a whole, so I tried the Multikraft system to see for myself,“ says Markus Kaiser. He sees it as an opportunity to ensure healthy soils and plants while also producing high quality crops.

Markus Kaiser at the potato field



Organic for babies Carrots and potatoes of the highest quality Robert Harmer is an organic farmer and owner of the Alt Prerau estate in Lower Austria. Surrounded by the Little Carpathians, the Pálava Mountains and the river Thaya, the Demeter estate has been producing organic carrots and organic potatoes for the HIPP company as a baby food producer for over thirty years. There are strict controls on baby food and the absence of residues is therefore a very important criterion. For about ten years now, the Multikraft system has also played a significant role in biodynamic farming to strengthen plants and produce the highest organic quality. „Our products stand out in terms of quality and also meet the highest demands of baby food,“ says farm manager Robert Harmer, who converted the farm to organic farming in the mid-1980s. There are several reasons for this. “Forest dieback was a big issue which sensitised me to the environment. When I first took over the farm it was been leased out resulting in depleted lifeless soil, and I needed to change something in order to revitalise it. Next, is that we are located in a dry region and the profitability of the farm is therefore not defined by quantity, but by quality and higher prices.


The Alt Prerau estate experienced another important phase of development with the fall of the Iron Curtain. Since 1990, after the opening of the border, various farmland in the Czech Republic has been taken over and immediately converted to organic farming. Another transformation took place in 2005 with the decision to manage the entire farm based on organic dynamic standards.

Highest Demeter quality

Robert Harmer expands on why he decided to farm organically following the Demeter principles: „Demeter is a world recognised standard for the highest quality in organic agriculture, not only because it has particularly strict standards and guidelines, or because of its work with biodynamic preparations, but mostly because of the holistic approach, which reaches far into the future.“ At the estate, farming is carried out in harmony with nature. By respecting natural cycles, the protection of the soil, water and air is guaranteed. Chemical-synthetic aids are not used at all. In the warm Pannonian climate, all main cereals and crops such as millet, semolina maize, Pop corn maize, peas, potatoes, carrots and alfalfa are grown at the Alt Prerau estate.


Black soils and a warm climate enable cereals, such as millet here, to be of the highest quality.

Photos: Doris Dannerbauer

Healthy foliage

Demeter carrots develop optimally in the soft and fertile clay soils. „Especially when growing carrots, a deep and well-rooted seedbed is crucial,“ explains Robert Harmer. „Healthy foliage must be maintained into the autumn, as high nitrate levels are respired through the foliage and altanaria must be stopped.“ Altanaria is a widespread genus of moulds and is one of the blackening fungi that cause persistent plant diseases. Repeated application of Multikraft Plant Strengthener BB Foliar strengthens carrot plants and serves to maintain healthy leaves. It creates a biofilm of regenerative microorganisms on the leaf surface, which stimulates photosynthesis and strengthens the cell walls of the leaf surface. Thus, increasing the resistance of the plants. „With carrots, a healthy haulm is indispensable, otherwise harvesting is not feasible with current harvesting equipment.“ The Multikraft system is also regularly used at the Alt Prerau estate in the cultivation of early and storage potatoes as well as for the cultivation of potatoes for baby food. „By applying it to the seeds during cultivation we protect the potato from infection with fungal diseases such as Rhizochtonia during the sometimes quite long periods until emergence. At a later stage, we use BB Foliar for preventive protection against Phytophthora,“ reports Robert Harmer, who ensures that the plants are generally strengthened and kept healthy through regular use of the Multikraft system.

„Gut Alt Prerau“

Strong prevention

The importance of preventive plant strengthening was clearly demonstrated in a spelt crop. Brown rust is a fungal disease of cereals. Through the consistent application of BB Foliar, brown rust appearing in the early stages was stopped in spelt and a subsequent regeneration of the leaf mass was observed. „From our point of view, the strengths of the Multikraft system clearly lie in the suppression of fungal diseases on our crops. Even though organic farming and especially our bio-dynamic system minimise the development of these fungal diseases, it is essential to choose the right crop rotation and the appropriate distances between the crops from the very beginning,“ concludes Robert Harmer.

Robert Harmer in front of his wheat fields



On the right track

Domestic poultry farming in the interest of animal welfare

Animal welfare is Markus Lukas‘ top priority, and so his poultry fattening farm is equipped with state-of-the-art housing technology, in line with animal welfare criteria. This includes the installation of floor heating and spray cooling in all barns. The spray cooling system contributes to a welltempered stable climate.

Consumers help strengthen the local farms

„We are constantly working on animal welfare programs that benefit both the animals and the farmers,“ reports Markus Lukas. He is chairman of the Poultry Cooperative Austria (GGÖ), and deputy chairman of the Zentrale Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Österreichischen Geflügelwirtschaft (ZAG), where he is responsible for the fattening poultry division. „For the Austrian poultry businesses, an appreciation of regional products is enormously important. A huge thank you to all consumers who trust our Austrian poultry


farmers and buy local. We are pleased and appreciative that consumers are willing to pay a fair price supporting regional poultry farming. This tells us we are on the right track with Austrian poultry farming in terms of animal welfare.“ Master carpenter Markus Lukas began farming crossways fulfilling a lifelong dream. „Being a farmer is a cool profession. I enjoy the nature-oriented and varied work,“ he says on a sunny autumn day when the millet harvest is due.

Supplementary feed has many advantages

Markus Lukas specialises in chicken fattening and in animal husbandry, for him, the supplementary feed FHE is indispensable. „I notice that the animals develop very well and are healthy and robust. FHE increases their appetite and contributes to a good stable climate because the faeces is better.“ FHE is added to the feed via an automatic pump-in system. The chicken’s feed is freshly replenished via a dosing system and FHE is included with every dose. „It fits well with our system and the Austrian poultry fattening feed. When used properly, I can really recommend it. This means, adding it to the feed regularly throughout the fattening period rather than sporadically”, says Markus.

Photo: David Tadevosian/

In Gosdorf, south-eastern Styria, Markus Lukas runs a poultry fattening farm with around 52,000 broilers. He regularly uses Fermented Herbs Extract (FHE), Multikraft‘s supplementary feed, in his chicken farming. FHE improves feed intake and is also essential to ensuring that problems with Salmonella Infantis, are no longer an issue.


Chicken farmer Lukas has consistently had great experiences with the regular addition of FHE to the feed. „I see the chickens growing more evenly, the feed has a pleasant smell thanks to FHE and is very enticing for the animals, they really like it. This is a healthy way to increase the animals‘ appetite while contributing to the profitability of the farm.“

No more Salmonella Infantis

Salmonella in the chicken flock causes far-reaching problems, especially in chicks, where salmonella causes serious gastrointestinal diseases. FHE plays a major role in the prevention of salmonella, Markus Lukas reports. Despite the most modern equipment and the best feed quality, Markus Lukas‘ farm repeatedly had to struggle with salmonella. Only the consistent use of FHE in hygiene management and feeding has led to the improvement that salmonella is no longer a problem. „Since I have been using FHE consistently, the farm is completely free of these pathogens,“ says Markus Lukas. Since then, many of his colleagues have followed this example and, thanks to Multikraft‘s advice, most of their farms are now free of salmonella. Markus Lukas attributes this success to the fact that FHE is a part of regular feeding. It strengthens the health of the animals, supports their intestinal flora and is essential to ensuring that there are no more infestations with Salmonella Infantis. The chickens are healthier and the meat quality is excellent. Markus Lukas markets the chickens to the Styrian poultry specialist Titz, every now and then he also sells a few chickens to neighbours and buyers in the region and is told the meat tastes wonderful.

Markus Lukas, Chairman Poultry Austria Cooperative (GGÖ)

Poto: privat

„Personally, I have also seen the strength of FHE which is natural and saves using a lot of other additives that you would otherwise use in the fattening period for certain symptoms. For example, I don‘t need to add any antibiotics, zero, nothing, just FHE and that‘s it. The results just fit.“



Organic specialities

Respectful work of a Carinthian farmer and butcher Markus Salcher had always dreamed of owning his own farm, and at the age of 13, he did just that. Markus was the son of parents who were in civil service professions and spent his summer holidays on farms from an early age. He completed agricultural school and a butcher‘s apprenticeship and was lucky enough to acquire a farm in the Lesach Valley in Carinthia. The master butcher and organic farmer is as well known for his respect for animal welfare as he is for Lesachtal bacon. FHE (Fermented Herbs Extract) which Markus uses on his farm has played a major role in animal husbandry for more than ten years. Markus Salcher keeps his barn doors open. „Every consumer should be able to see how farming works at any time and should know what effort goes into quality food from the region.“ says Markus. On the low-input farm, which focuses on suckler cow husbandry, the barn door is also left open so that the cows and their calves can go out to pasture whenever they like, they eat the grass outside and the cow manure stays outside with it. „The animals have access to the run all day and in all weather conditions. Even when it snows, they still go out for a few hours,“ Markus Salcher tells us.


Quality of the feed

The old cattle breeds, Kärntner Blondvieh and Pinzgauer graze at 1,100 metres above sea level in Niedergail. With his organic farm, Markus participates in BioAustria‘s animal welfare project. The cattle wear their horns, they do not stand on slatted floors and are bedded on straw. The animals do not get concentrated feed, but a bail of hay sprayed with FHE, which develops an optimal hay climate. „I feed 90% hay and have installed a hay drying system. Silage, which is fermented hay, is only an emergency solution in case of premature rainy weather. The plastic of the silage bales is not in line with my organic methods.“ The animals themselves are sprayed with FHE, which gives them a beautiful coat. Schwäbisch-Hällische Landschweine (a small breed of slow growing domestic pig) also live here. „The animals need 1 ½ months longer to reach the slaughter weight of around 140 kilograms. We take our time because the quality of the meat is so much better.“ Good, crumbly fat is the key to flavour in bacon. The quality of the bacon starts with the husbandry and feeding of the young pigs. The feed is available ad libitum. „My pigs get their own organic triticale in addition to barley, rye and peas. They also receive hay flowers and twice a week organic whey, which I get from a nearby farm.“


Conscientious work

Master butcher Salcher processes the meat into Lesachtaler Speck in his butcher‘s shop in St. Lorenzen. „People from all over Austria buy their annual requirements of bacon, organic beef and organic pork from us. They appreciate our commitment to animal welfare and quality.“ Markus teaches his apprentices the traditional craft of bacon production as well as respect for the animals. „In large-scale slaughterhouses, it‘s all about numbers and maximising profits. The laws are knitted in such a way that this is all within the bounds. As a farmer and butcher, it is important to me that we work with living beings and that the animals are not just a number. We approach slaughter calmly and conscientiously, without any hectic rush. The slaughter work must be stress-free because the pH value and the lactic acid maturation in the meat also have to be right. I am happy that as a farmer and butcher I bring each of my animals into the world treating them respectfully until their last breath.“

Lesachtal bacon

Markus explains his approach, which he developed through repeated experimentation. In the production of bacon, Markus does not use preservatives, flavour enhancers or nitrite curing salt. „We don‘t need curing salt because we leave enough time for the product to redden and mature. We add Beneficial Microorganisms in the salt-spice mixture and consume it immediately. The herbs contain a lot of iron, which provides colour stabilisation. With any product like bacon, salami or sausages, I need something that lowers the pH value and makes the products durable. The lactic acid bacteria take care of that. If you take the bacon out of the package in humid weather, a light, white yeast film may form. This is nothing bad, but noble mould on a pure natural product.

Potos: Andrea Knura

Looking at the whole picture

As an organic farmer and butcher, he looks at the big picture. „My animals should be healthy and well from top to toe and I want to show that farming and butchery can function side by side and respectfully.“ There needs to be a renewed awareness of the value of food as tonnes of food is thrown away” Markus says. Changes are needed in the system and people also need to be educated. So many people believe that only rump steak or filet is a superior cut, however you can also make a flavoursome meal out of shoulder meat. I am pleased that our customers prefer to wait two weeks for their order because they know that the animals are treated well on my organic farm. Organic means we look at the whole picture. That‘s how it should be.“ Markus Salcher with his cattle in the pasture



Uplifting benefits Katharina Krebs talks about bioemsan

High-quality olive oil and sea buckthorn fruit oil, with their nourishing and moisturising properties, are found in some of the recipes in the bioemsan organic cosmetics line. They are also included in the new bioemsan liquid soap. Olive oil, the popular classic from Mediterranean cuisine, is an important component due to its antioxidant effect. The olive oil in the bioemsan products comes from the traditional Mani brand which is among the best of Greek oils. The sea buckthorn pulp oil extracted from the orange-red berries is high in vitamins C, E, B-complex and carotenoids. It has cell-regenerating and anti-inflammatory effects and is also a great benefit for the skin. Division Manager Katharina Krebs provides insights into high-quality organic cosmetics.

How long has the bioemsan organic cosmetics line been around and how did the idea for it come about? Our Japanese partners in Okinawa, introduced us to a cosmetics line with Beneficial Microorganisms which inspired us to set up a bio-cosmetics line ourselves. The herbal extracts it contains are of the finest regional organic quality, which has been crucial to us from the beginning. Our first bioemsan product was a moisturiser, which Multikraft launched in 2003, followed by our first toothpaste in 2004. With excellent customer feedback and suggestions, we were able to further develop the range, making sure to keep the bioemsan organic cosmetics line very simple. The bioemsan products are certified according to Bio Austria Garantie, control authority. They are produced in Austria and contain natural GMOfree, purely organic ingredients and herbs.


Where do the organic herbs for the bioemsan products come from? Bio Austria Garantie have the strictest guidelines, requiring that all the herbs contained in bioemsan products come from certified organic farms. Many of these use the Multikraft system during cultivation and it is particularly important to us, that as many as possible are sourced from small farms. Vegetable oils and fats play an important role in the bioemsan organic cosmetics line. How do you ensure quality? Regionality and quality are the two most important factors. We changed some oils during the 2019 relaunch and now mainly use oils from Austria and Germany, which we source from small oil mills. For example: The special sea buckthorn seed oil, fruit pulp oil, argan oil or


shea butter are not available in Austria. By ensuring we source these raw materials only from partners who work in high-quality, sustainable and fair production, we are also helping to support social projects. Surfactants are active washing substances used in shampoos and shower gels. What is different about the bioemsan products? They are not conventional surfactants which dry out the skin. Our products contain surfactants that are obtained from natural raw materials, such as sugar surfactants or coconut oil-based surfactants. These are milder and gentler on the skin and give the products a soft and equally mild lather.

What was the focus of the product development? We combined all raw materials that provide natural sun protection with our raw materials. Conventional sun creams contain chemical filters, however the bioemsan sun cream only uses mineral-based light protection filters like zinc oxide powder. With these properties, bioemsan sun cream is truly kind to the skin. Scenes from the new imagefilm 2020

The bioemsan products contain Beneficial Microorganisms. For example, the herbs are specially formulated for dry skin and fermented using a careful process. Why is this process essential? We compose the herbal extracts that are fermented with Beneficial Microorganisms, specifically for each skin type and product application. Manju and EM Ceramic Powder are also included in the formulas. With this combination the effects are intensified, and the skin is supported in rebuilding its acid mantle. Especially in the case of skin irritations or sunburn, where the skin environment regenerates. Our experience has shown that bioemsan care works very well on sensitive skin and people who are otherwise allergic to essential oils. Feedback confirms that you don‘t have to use as much cream with bioemsan. It is a little more expensive to buy, but more economical to use. Please explain the probiotic effect of bioemsan products? All bioemsan products support the skin microbiome by bringing the skin into balance. The principle of the Beneficial Microorganisms works in such a way that they build up a regenerating environment and, together with herbal extracts, bring the skin into balance. bioemsan care counteracts acne, psoriasis, oily or dry skin and supports the skin‘s intact acid mantle.

Photos: Werner Dedl, brightflims

The bioemsan cosmetics line includes a wide range of products for skin, hair and oral hygiene. What new products are there in 2021? We are looking forward to bioemsan liquid soap, bioemsan sun cream with sun protection factor (SPF) and bioemsan deodorant stick which will be launched in Autumn 2021. Later, we will distribute the Bokashi-Rub-Oil from partners in Bali. Bokashi-Rub-Oil contains many herbs fermented with Beneficial Microorganisms and is very popular for massages and muscle rubs. Peppermint, rosemary and sage give the bioemsan liquid soap a pleasant scent. Why have these herbs been combined? In the current environment, we must wash our hands a lot. We made sure we used a particularly high-quality formula, so your hands do not dry out and the soap has a refatting effect. It is made using an olive oil base and vegetable surfactants and the lemon scent refreshes your senses. The herbal extracts are specially formulated for stressed skin and are particularly gentle on the skin. It is very concentrated and therefore economical to use. The launch of bioemsan sun cream with SPF is planned just in time for summer.


• Multikraft Roots with Beneficial Microorganisms ensures active soil life and strong roots. • Increases resistance to pests and fungal diseases. • Easy to use when pouring. • Improves germination, rooting and plant development.